Burr and Burton picks up first win, tops Wasps
MANCHESTER — The Burr and Burton girls hockey team wasn't finding the back of the net throughout its first four games of the season, and with its tie with U-32 aside, BBA was shut out in the other three games.
The Bulldogs needed to produce confidence on the offensive end and they turned to an outside source for a little help in that regard.
Recently, Danielle Marmer, who went to BBA and played collegiately at Quinnipiac, came in to give her input and Saturday against Woodstock, the Bulldogs put all the offensive pieces together in a 2-0 win to pick up their first victory.
"She's been helping us out and telling us to get in front of the net and I think we really took that to heart and practiced it, especially all of the wings," said BBA senior Jessica Grabher. "That's really how our goals came in and we really committed to that today."
Grabher, in particular, took Marmer's advice to heart as she found herself around the front of the net with more than five minutes to play in the second period. In a scrum around the net, the Bulldogs got a shot off, but it was saved. Grabher was right there to get her stick on the puck and punched it home.
"We talked about how 50 percent of all goals in hockey are rebound goals," BBA coach Ed Lewicki said. "It was thing we worked on in practice. We can't fly by the net and we need to stop and be ready for a rebound."
The Bulldogs didn't waste much time taking control Saturday night. After picking up an elbowing penalty a minute and half into play, BBA really seemed to lock in. The Bulldogs were strong even a player down and killed the penalty by keeping the puck out their own zone.
Once they were back at full strength, they wasted little time asserting themselves. Thirty-three seconds following the penalty kill, senior Chloe MacDonald found sophomore Stella Turner and Turner beat Wasps goaltender Ava Dodson to put BBA up a score.
MacDonald had a pair of assists on the day and was constantly around the puck.
"Chloe did a lot of the work going wide and getting a nice shot for Stella," Lewicki said.
The Bulldogs were thoroughly in control of the first period, constantly maintaining possession and outshooting 12-2 over those first 15 minutes.
While Woodstock came back strong in the second to even the momentum with their speedy forwards, the BBA defense was more than up to the task of keeping the Wasps in check. While the Bulldogs were stringing strong passes together to create viable scoring chances, Woodstock couldn't find that same consistently. The Wasps tested BBA goalie Lola Herzog at times, especially in the final period, but the sophomore held her composure between the pipes. Herzog made 16 saves Saturday.
"The defense played great. Lola didn't have to make as many saves today as he did (last Saturday), but she was great in goal" Lewicki said.
BBA decided to mark Woodstock forward Elizabeth Peck in the third period. Peck is one of the better offensive players in the state and the Bulldogs needed to keep her in check, especially with the game still well undecided. Turner and Grabher were tasked with marking Peck and both did an excellent job in the role.
The Bulldogs early-season slate has been one of the toughest in the division with a pair of games against Woodstock, a game with Rice and another with Stowe. Lewicki saw his team give a strong effort against the Raiders and thought the momentum carried over to Saturday's contest.
"This was a follow-up from playing one of the best Division I teams (Rice) and Lola had an amazing performance last Saturday when we only lost 2-0," Lewicki said. "We went in and challenged (Woodstock) for three solid periods. We're just trying to tell them they are a better team than their record."
"We've played some really good teams, so it's really made us speed up our game," said Grabher of the early season slate. "It's made us play up to their level and that will only help us as the season goes on."
Topping Woodstock, who shut the Bulldogs out in their season-opening game and have had success over the years in previous matchups, felt a bit more sweet for BBA when the final buzzer sounded Saturday
"To get a win against Woodstock, who has been beating us pretty badly the past few years, it feels really good," Turner said.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at email@example.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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